Jul 15, 2019

Surly Stunner Tropical Ale

The label artwork on Surly’s Stunner Tropical Ale scream 1980’s Miami Vice and day-glo leg warmers — the lightly hazy liquid inside. however, is as modern as an IPA can get. I suppose the aroma that wafts from the glass after pouring could give the impression of white sand beaches, but there’s nothing retro or old school about this one.

This Summer seasonal IPA is dry-hopped with El Dorado, Amarillo and Mosaic hop varieties that, when all is said and done, present a fairly tropical array of aromas and flavors. Stunner isn’t overly juicy or one-sided with fruitiness, thankfully, as a light-to-moderate hop bitterness and light biscuity malt do well to keep everything in check. Sort of like the tenuous balance between the previously mentioned Crockett and Tubbs. (You younger kids may have to look that reference up).

From aroma to flavor, hints of mango, pineapple, grapefruit and orange are constantly in play. A touch of floral hop notes, grass and pine fill in the gaps nicely for a flavor profile that is ideal for the warmer Summer months. A twinge of biscuity malt that lingering hop tingle keep this one from getting too juicy.

Stunner (6% ABV) is a deceptively smooth and easy drinking IPA as a result of that cohesive flavor profile. The hop bite won’t overwhelm and the crisp, lively mouthfeel only adds to the refreshing nature of this tasty IPA. My only complaint with this one is that alcohol level. Sure, having one or two is fine at this potency, but given the crushable nature of the IPA’s flavor and well, we’re more in the mood for an extended stay with Stunner. A percentage point loss there would do the trick nicely.

This is a review of a promotional sample.